Shares in Dempsey Minerals gained today on news the lithium-focused play has significantly expanded its land holdings within the prolific Hombre Muerto Basin, located in Catamarca Province, Argentina.
The company has acquired new licences at Rana de Sal and Santa Barbara and through a new licence application at Pata Pila.
Pending licence approvals, the additional licences will conservatively increase the company’s area of interest for the exploration for lithium brines by 35% from ~5,000 Ha to at least ~6,900 Ha.
We are very pleased to have increased our land holdings in the Hombre Muerto region and continue to do as much as we can to expedite exploration over our projects, Dempsey Managing Director Juan Pablo Vargas de la Vega said.
Pata Pila covers a large area of alluvial fan thought to conceal the margin of the Hombre Muerto salar in the west. The Rana de Sal licence lies in the northwest, is contiguous with the Catalina licence and covers an area of alluvial fan covered salar. The area also hosts the site of FMC’s original pilot processing facility.
The Santa Barbara licences cover a small portion of the salar margin close to FMC’s operation. Rana de Sal was purchased for US$25,000 for 100% ownership. The Santa Barbara licences are held under an option agreement whereby the Company can purchase 100% equity for US$300,000 within three years with US$40,000 paid upon signing the agreement.
Dempsey is also planning to conduct further geophysical surveys and is in the process of engaging independent contracting consultants Quantec Geo science to expand upon its recent work over the company’s Candelas leases and also over the Company’s Western Basin leases at Santa Barbara, Pata Pila, Rana de Sal and Catalina.
The Company plans to conduct various CSAMT resistivity and gravity surveys over the western areas.
The surveys at Candelas will expand upon the previously reported survey results which defined substantial volumes of highly conductive and shallow units compatible with units being saturated with brine that remain open within the company’s ground largely to the west. The surveys are planned to begin next month.
“Results from sampling over our Western Basin targets has given us the encouragement to instigate a programme of ground geophysics which is expected to commence shortly whilst we continue to expand upon our work at Candelas,” Juan Pablo Vargas de la Vega said.
The Hombre Muerto salar hosts FMC Corporation’s El Fenix operation and Galaxy’s Sal de Vida project, a portion of which is subject to sale to POSCO for US$280 million.
Shares in Dempsey were trading 12% higher at 37c on Monday.